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Goalkeeping crisis hits Zambia’s Copper Queens

Zambia’s Copper Queens is faced with a goalkeeping crisis ahead of the third-place playoff at the ongoing Women’s Africa Cup of Nations finals being held in Morocco.

National team coach Bruce Mwape may be forced to use his third choice goalkeeper Letisha Lungu for their tie against reigning champions Nigeria on Friday.

She-pololo’s first choice shot-stopper and skipper Hazel Nali missed the semi final encounter against South Africa due to illness. Second choice goalie, Cathrine Musonda was trusted to be the one in between the sticks against South Africa, she did very well the entire 90 minutes despite losing one nil in the stoppage time after Linda Motlhalo converted a controversial penalty.

However, she suffered an injury that could sideline her just after one appearance at the 2022 WAFCON.

On Wednesday, Zambia women national team doctor Faith Chabeza provided an update about the absentees with some glimpse of hope that the duo can recover and return against Super Falcons. However, it was still too early to confirm.

Hazel Nali

“Hazel [Nali] made a return to training after missing Monday’s semi-final due to illness. It was purely medical, not an injury or trauma football related. That’s why we had to put her out on the previous game we had. I’m optimistic about Hazel joining us, yet still early, she trained alongside goalkeeper Letisha Lungu [third choice]”, said Faith Chibeza, the team doctor.

“Catherine [Musonda] is not in training, she suffered a trauma to her lower abdomen against a loss to South Africa, she’s a little bit unwell but she’s doing fine, continuing with her recovery.”

The team doctor further shared an insight about the team’s health and fitness heading into their final match on Friday.

“Generally speaking the team is doing well, we had few knocks here and there, but nothing that can put anyone out of the game because of an injury,” she added.

The Bronze medal redemption encounter in Casablanca at Stade Mohaned V is at 22h00 (South African time).

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